April 8 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 77; 2 Corinthians 8

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Word of God Speak | Kelley Deases

S~ Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 1 Samuel 3:7 (NIV)

O~ Even though the boy had “ministered before the LORD under Eli” since he was weaned from his mother, he had not had a personal encounter with God. Thus, he did not recognize His voice.

A~ Looking back over my life, I have been blessed to have a few profound encounters with God, where I was keenly aware of His Presence. He spoke to me, not with an audible human voice, yet I knew it was Him. But these moments were few and far between, spaced out over the span of years. Until, that is, these past several years since I have learned to “tune in to the right station.” As I sit with open Bible, open heart, open mind, and pen poised at the ready, I can hear Him speak most every day. I can have an encounter with God anytime I want!

P~ Father, I have some regret over not figuring out how to seek Your face earlier in life. But now that I know, help me take full advantage, hearing from You on a consistent basis and, more importantly, heeding what I hear You say.

Obedience in Dealing With Issues | Michelle Myers

S~ For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible and he failed to restrain them. 1 Samuel 3:13 (NIV)

O~ God is speaking to Samuel about Eli and his sons, who were doing sinful things.  Eli confronted his son’s about their behavior, but that is as far as it went.  He failed to really deal with the issues, and therefore it impacted his family forever.

A~ I feel like You told me the same thing in regards to confronting and dealing with my messed up extended family and protecting my immediate family.  You told me to confront my mother, and I did. More than once, I went to her and in love, with a good heart and the right motives; tried to deal with some of the dysfunction in family relationships and her controlling, nasty behavior.  And, like Moses with Pharaoh, I confronted someone whose heart was hard, wouldn’t listen, etc.  It was so confusing for me.

Eventually, You told me that I needed to make a choice.  I needed to put up boundaries, if I was going to truly serve You, be the person You created me to be, and change the dysfunctional family patterns that have plagued my family generation after generation.  It started with me confronting and accepting what I knew; and deciding I was going to do different and do it.  I am not perfect at it, but I have made huge progress, and am a way better example and servant to You.

At first, it wasn’t easy.  There was a lot of sadness and anxiety.  Eventually though, I found a freedom that I had never experienced before.  I feel that I am doing my part to protect my immediate family unit.  For the first time, I am able to be who You created me to be. For years, I had this misplaced sense of responsibility to protect my mom.  For years, I felt like there was something wrong with me, or I was responsible for her behavior and unhappiness.  It was like I was living a lie.  In public, she was kind, generous, giving, etc.; but behind closed doors she was a bully.  Family issues were swept under the rug, and not dealt with.  For years, extended family members and even my own dad, knew of her behavior, but silently sat by and watched it; and never dealt with it or confronted it.

The fact that I have not spoken to or seen my mom in over three years, doesn’t bother me the way it used to.  I am more focused on You….my obedience to You and my relationship with You.  More uncomfortable, is trying to explain my family dynamics to other people.  There seems to be this acceptance that we are all broken people…..which we are…… but that it is wrong and less than Christ like to put up boundaries and deal with issues the best we can. And sometimes, the best and only safe way to do that is to protect ourselves, get out of the way, let You deal with someone’s contemptible behavior, and focus on ourselves and doing the best work and being the best example we can be for You. I can’t change anyone else.  In no way, shape, or form, do You want us to sit by passively, while someone’s brokenness and their unwillingness to acknowledge it or deal with it, causes us or anyone else so much destructive pain.  That is only assisting the enemy in our own demise.

P~ I am thankful for Your truths God.  Unlike Eli, I am being obedient to what You have told me to do.  It can be frustrating, when I get judged for the boundaries I put up or advised in how I should deal with my mother.  It is disheartening when I am judged as being bitter, selfish, and having the wrong motives; or even more so, when I am told I am not being a good example of Your love and kindness.  At those times, I try and focus on You and the truths that I have, in regards to my mom, my motives, my desire to have a healthy relationship with her, my responsibility, and what You have told me to do.   I look for Your acknowledgement that You see me, know me, and understand me.  You give it to me, and I pray that You keep guiding me and showing me that You see and understand, what most people do not.

Don’t Drop Them! | Vicki Burns (guest post)

S~ The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Samuel 3:19 (NIV)

O~ Samuel paid attention to God’s words. He attended to their message by obedience…the way we best hold on to God’s words. He also shared them with those around him. So, God “revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” (:21) If we read someone’s words everyday, listen to their stories, hear their heart on every imaginable topic we gain an understanding of who they are, what they care about and what displeases them. I imagine Samuel, thrown into the temple so young, with a detached priest and two renegades, that he might’ve hidden himself in the Word of God. God was his only daily support. He would’ve come to know Him and His love intimately. That love must’ve driven him to love God’s people likewise. God’s Word was precious life to him. Samuel appreciated their value and didn’t let one slip to the ground. So, “he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” (:21b.)

A~ How often I fail God by letting His Word to me fall to the ground?! By my inattention, I dishonor both God and His Word! I allow my heart (love) and life to disconnect from God and His ways. It can happen in a flash! I forget…God. Then I wonder how in the world I got so far off track from following the Lord! I have forgotten my first love!” Rev. 2:4 …the joy, wonder and disbelief that my death sentence had been repealed, rather paid for! Someone loved me enough to SAVE MY LIFE! How shameful I could “forget” such a gift! It’s that very love that has the power to drive my heart back to my knees, back to grace and back to His Word.

This meme, coupled with my respect for NT Wright, moved me to refocus my SOAP this morning. The letter of the law kills and we can get so bogged down if we only hear dry law without the very real attending, life-giving LOVE! GOD is love! Everything He does (including giving us His love-letter) originates out of Love!

Vicki

P~ Lord, please teach me to do whatever it takes to engage my heart with Your Word. Your love inspires me. Help me to sit in and bask in the glory of Your very presence. Drive me to get in the Word and stay in it! Open my ears and heart to hear and note that it is indeed You speaking. Then, in obedience and love, help me yield to what You are saying. This is the power that changes me. I am so visual, Lord. Inspire me, in honor, to build a memorial around Your messages to me by song, art, writing or simply retelling to others what You are imparting. That way, when I forget (and I will) there’ll be something to see, hear or remember of that sweet treasure of Your communication. Make me one who “trembles at Your Word.”(Ps. 119:161) Mathew Henry says, “Those whose hearts stand in awe of God’s word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God.”… kind of trembling. “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (:165) I don’t want to stumble, Lord. I can only love Your law if I am in love with the Law Giver. Keep my heart soft and grant me a tender spirit to seek Your face daily in Your Living Word.
Amen (Let it be!)

Balance in Giving | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little.  I only mean that there should be some equality.  2 Corinthians 8:13 (NLT)

O~ This speaks to me about balance.

A~ I need to keep in mind how what I give affects me and my family.

P~ Father, thank you for your truth. I don’t think I am the only one that struggles in this area; please give us wisdom and discernment.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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Posted on April 8, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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